Month: September 2012

About Elly (Farhadi, 2009)

Both About Elly, made in 2009 but released here only now, and the more recent A Separation, are perfect examples of the power of the plot. Writer/director Asghar Farhadi not only knows how to craft perfectly formed cinematic worlds filled with characters that look and feel precisely life-sized and human, but he knows how to structure a story better than any director living today. Both films hinge on a central mystery that wouldn’t be a mystery if all the characters would just confess the full truth to each other – a conceit that would feel like a poor sitcom plotline from a lesser writer – but Farhadi makes the reasons behind each characters actions so clear and inescapable that the situation never feels forced and no piece of information feels withheld for any longer than it should be. About Elly is a chamber drama that grips like an action thriller.

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